Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random News & Views Roundup

- Karl "MC" Rove raps (video). I throw up a bit in my mouth.

- As I wrote about here Bush cited Iraqi bloggers from Iraq the Model in his speech to the Cattlemen's Association on Wednesday to prove there's "success" happening but, as E&P's Greg Mitchell points out:

(March 28, 2007) -- This is how far he, and his argument for continuing the slaughter in Iraq, have fallen: President Bush today was reduced to quoting two anonymous bloggers from Baghdad.

He cited them as evidence that his surge/escalation is working. One problem: their posts were written weeks ago, and re-published in the Wall Street Journal on March 7.

So the bloggers weren't even talking about current conditions in Baghdad. That left it to Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post -- and author of the heralded 2006 book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" -- who appeared on MSNBC's "Countdown" tonight to debunk this idea of a newly-safe Baghdad. "I talk to Iraqis all the time," he said.

He revealed that there had been steady insurgent mortar shots falling in the supposedly safe "Green Zone" all week, at least two Americans had died there in recent days, and U.S. Embassy staff had been instructed, in a switch, to wear their protective armor and helmets outside at all times. He also disclosed that the embassy's pool, scene of much partying in the recent past, has now been declared off-limits. All of this and more appears in a Post "Green Zone" article on Thursday.

Another day, another Bush screw up...but they're winning!, right?

- By the way, John McCain is on his way to Iraq where I'm sure he'll be able to enjoy that leisurely stroll through the streets of Baghdad that he's been touting all week. Send us a postcard, John. Well, that is, as long as you're not bothered by things like this while you're out there looking for a souvenir shop:

In Baghdad, 13 dumped bodies were recovered. A car bomb exploded at a major intersection in Bayaa, killing three people and injuring ten others.

- If you believe this headline, I have some really nice swampland to sell you: U.S. says not escalating tension with Iran. Tomorrow's headline: US Says the Sky is Green.

- The power of attempted suppression:

News that Channel 4 is to broadcast a controversial film called Mark of Cain, written by Tony Marchant, about British soldiers torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners in Basra in 2003, comes hard on the heels of a controversial book by the American sociologist Bob Lilly at long last finding a British publisher - Palgrave Macmillan.

Lilly's book, Taken by Force, was first published in France in 2003, and then in Italy in 2004, but initially failed to find either an American or British publisher. As one American publisher explained to Lilly, professor of sociology at Northern Kentucky University - "I wouldn't touch that book with a 10-foot long pole", given that the subject matter was concerned with the estimated 14,000 rapes committed by American soldiers in England, France and Germany between 1942 and 1945.

In short, at a time when "French fries" and "French toast" were being renamed "Freedom fries" and "Freedom toast" because, unlike us, the French refused to join the Bush administration's war in Iraq, the American public did not want to be told that their fathers, uncles and brothers who had fought in the second world war - that "Band of Brothers" as the historian Stephen Ambrose christened them, and whose status as the "greatest generation" had been cemented by Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan - had, in fact, been involved in some of the worst crimes on mainland Europe, including black-market trading, armed robbery, looting, rape and murder.

Couldn't have that published while America was at war, after all, now could we? Truth is bad for morale.

- Saudi King Abdullah:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 28 — King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arab leaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal and warned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreign powers like the United States would continue to dictate the region’s politics.

When Bushco is even losing the Saudis, you know there are big problems...

Turki al-Rasheed, who runs an organization promoting democracy in Saudi Arabia, said the king was “saying we may be moving on the same track, but our ends are different.”

“Bush wants to make it look like he is solving the problem,” Mr. Rasheed said. “The king wants to actually solve the problems.”

Well, it would be nice if somebody would actually solve "the problem". I don't really care who it is.

- Kyle Sampson is set to testify about AttorneyGate (or whatever the kids are calling it) on Thursday. You can catch it on CSPAN online.

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